Limiting beliefs are those that hold you back from advancing your life. If you believe it is a sin to aspire to achieve, to rise above, to be wealthy, to easily build wealth, and to enjoy life, you will make life harder for yourself to do so. Limiting beliefs like these are thriving in society today, floating in our subconscious minds and woven into the fabric of our culture.
One overarching example of a huge, limiting belief that holds people back is the belief that you should feel ashamed and guilty for your desires and aspirations for a healthy, wealthy and abundant life, and your actions to build it. Many of these limiting beliefs are instilled in us from a very young age by exploiting our faith in ourselves and our relationship to God, or whatever cosmic entity we choose to believe in.
Limiting beliefs haunt the attics and basements of our subconscious minds. So it’s good to check all the crawl spaces and clean out any toxic or limiting beliefs if we wish to advance ourselves.
Many of these limiting beliefs are as old as time and are were created by those who believe in a world of scarcity and competition. Thousands of years after the birth of civilization and democracy, there are still people in this world who believe they benefit from holding others back, and worse, getting others to hold themselves back. Limiting beliefs are used as a tool, viruses of the mind, to manipulate the masses into actions that support a larger plot, just as a hacker or con artist runs a scam. And worse still, these mental viruses, get people to regulate themselves through shame, guilt and connection to religious belief. These limiting beliefs often originate from master manipulators and are spread unwittingly from one person to entire communities.
These ancient, limiting subconscious roadblocks are integrated to our culture including religion, politics and social contracts. They are very much a part of our lives, even those who do not actively seek them out. In effect these ideas are holding back the people they claim to serve and are known and supported by those who believe they can only advance by controlling others, and limiting them to modesty, servitude, slavery and suffering. Scary and Matrix-y right? Read on to take the red pill.
I’ve been on a personal journey to explore a few fundamental beliefs at the core of our culture, and have found many are fit for the eject button. I’ve been exploring the gutters, closets, attics, hides, and basements of my belief system and will share what I believe are some limiting beliefs and some ways to reframe them and build a foundation of belief that truly serves me. Hold on to your huggies, grab your adult pants, because this ride will likely challenge and trigger you at first.
1. The Value/Effort Relationship – Value created is mostly dependent on effort put into the process. For example, hard work is valuable.
Why it’s limiting: If you believe this, then it is really convince yourself of the extreme, that simply putting in big effort will yield a big return. The world doesn’t work this way. Plenty of people work harder than you or me, for pennies per hour. The relationship between value and effort isn’t so simple.
Re-Frame: Value is a noticeable improvement in the customer condition. The creation of value is in the eye of the beholder and it is your job to increase awareness of value you provide. So, start thinking in terms of how goods and/or services the you offer improve the conditions of others and strive to be an excellent communicator in this area. This is how you command value.
2. The Blue Collar Mantra - If I just work hard, someone will notice and reward me. The secret to getting rich is hard work.
Why it’s limiting: These notions encourage you to be inefficient, ignore your needs, struggles, and sacrifice yourself, for some external person or force to reward you. You are not advancing yourself by breaking your back for others, expecting others to notice. In fact, you’re projecting your desires on the rest of the world, hoping they will fairly recognize and meet your needs, like a genie doling out wishes.
Re-Frame: Work hard to advance yourself! Working hard to advance yourself exerting your will upon yourself to grow and develop mind body and soul will yield far more fruits than working for others hoping for equal rewards.
3. The Blue Collar Corollary - There’s no such thing as easy money…legally at Least.
Why it’s limiting: As you may notice, these build on each other, and that just makes them more toxic. People make large sums of easy money effortlessly every day. If you only believe in Hard Money, you’ll always be working hard to earn it. If this were true, no one would be rich, nor have time to enjoy their wealth. They’d be busy working hard for every nickel.
Riches = Easy Money. In fact, wealth is free time and plenty of resources to advance yourself in any way you see fit. You can’t be focused on hard work all the time and call yourself wealthy. So since we know wealthy people do exist, we know riches exist.
Re-Frame: There are riches to be found and I will find them. Treasures come in many forms to those who look to see them.
4. Blue Collar Corollary #2 – Since there’s no such thing as easy money that’s legal, all rich people are crooks.
Why it’s limiting: A few things happens with this belief;
- You hold a pessimistic view of the world and life sucks. This alone pushes opportunities away from you.
- Your bitterness and envy towards wealthy people and judgement of them as criminals ensures that you don’t associate with them and are never provided with the opportunities that wealthy people can provide.
- You believe your only path to wealth is in criminal activity and start a life of crimes, that may start petty and escalate.
Re-Frame: Wealthy people are advancing people. I am an advancing person and deserve to be wealthy.
5. Surrender to God’s Plan / God has a plan for all of us/ Leave it in God’s hands
Why it’s Limiting: The “God’s plan” idea is often a veiled initiative to get people to submit to and accept present circumstances especially when they are oppressed or being manipulated and/or controlled by others. This is an exploitation of faith as old as time and can keep us from reaching for more and chasing our dreams. Invading armies, oligarchs, tyrants and radical fundamentalists often view the subjugation of others as a divine right of the ruling class.
An extension of this idea is the notion that we should all just accept the place, or station, into which we were born. This is the argument of slave owners. They want you to accept your current position rather than rise above it. And this hasn’t disappeared from today’s society. Some employers feel entitled to unlimited access (24hrs/day) and abuse their employees while only paying for a third of that time. The worst of them convince employees that this is good behavior. I personally disagree with that idea.
This also helps you escape accountability for your own life and the fate of others. It is a cop out that stifles creative thinking. Imagine how fewer prison breaks, strikes, protest there’d be if there were a big sign right next to the cafeteria that read “It’s all part of God’s plan.” Nope.
Re-Frame: Have faith in yourself. God acts through you and wants you to be all you can be, and have all you have, so that you can better express yourself and God can express himself through you. I believe we should aspire to grow and reach out to break the pot we were born in. Don’t accept a limited life as a houseplant. Aspire to be the mighty oak. Dig in, reach big, and don’t worry. That little voice inside you that wants more than you have is the voice of God acting through you.
6. It’s part of “God’s Plan” or “God’s Will” that you should be poor.
Why it’s limiting: This contradicts the notion of free will as you’ll find many of these do. And if you believe you will be judged for your actions and simultaneously your actions are all predetermined in God’s plan, you cannot possibly be held accountable because you have no choice in the matter. So, if you believe in free will, if you believe your actions matter, throw this belief overboard.
This is like saying God wants you to suffer, and indeed we will get to that too.
Re-Frame: It is God’s will that I should seek to advance myself and express myself fully; that I should make the most of myself for myself and for others.
7. The Glory is The Struggle.
Why it’s limiting: This magical gem of a belief encourages you to seek out suffering and struggle with the implied return for God’s favor when evaluating whether or not you get into heaven. Often it’s used alongside difficult work that people are underpaid, undervalued and abused. This is probably why slaves weren’t needed to build the pyramids, it’s part of the original pyramid scheme.This is also the same approach terrorists use to convince people to become suicide bombers. It’s spiritual terrorism.
Re-Frame: The glory is in the enjoyment and appreciation for opportunities and the many gifts of life. God wants you to be all you can be. He wants you to enjoy life and express yourself to your fullest. He knows you can do that best with command of all the materials you need.
8. Those Who Become Wealthy Are Favored by God or Chosen to Have Such Wealth.
Why it’s Limiting: On the one hand, this idea validates the wealthy as having a divine right to preserve their wealth, and it’s still used today. This also emboldened wealthy throughout history to do all sorts of things from the philanthropic to the downright maniacal. This is at the core of class warfare and it certainly still thrives today. Don’t buy in.
On the other hand, the corollary is that if some are “chosen” to be rich others/most are “chosen” to be poor. By believing this, it’s really easy to feel cast out as a helpless, unworthy, and of course being one of the many to be selected by God’s Plan to be poor. This reeks of mighty brown BS. Don’t buy in.
This idea also contradicts the notion of free will and serves as a cop out for being poor. This reinforces the poverty mindset, because if you’re not rich yet, you must not be chosen, right? Also, it places the idea of building wealth entirely outside of your hands, and in the hands of others. It externalizes the blessings of growth and life, and the accountability. It is not likely that someone will come along and magically make you rich or choose that you should become wealthy. It is more likely that if you are advancing yourself and seeking wealth that you will one day have it. You have everything within yourself to improve your condition and advance.
Re-Frame: Those who become wealthy can better develop their minds, bodies and spirits and in doing so please God, as he can better express himself through them. God wants you to be rich. Many of the wealthiest people and leading politicians have made comments to the tune of “being the chosen ones”. Good news – we’re all the chosen ones.
9. God Favors Modesty and Wants You to Enjoy Being Poor.
Why it’s limiting: This belief is another piece of magical thinking that gets people to feel ashamed of their desire to live beyond a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle. If you accept that it is part of a cosmic or divine plan that you should live in poverty, and that it is up to others to choose if you shall join the wealthy class, you are condemning yourself to a limiting lifestyle. And indeed this turd of a belief is wrapped up in the packaging of leading “a virtuous” life. It encourages and reinforces good-willed, well-intentioned people to be poor.
This idea also prevents you from asking for a raise or striving for better. It prevents you from dreaming big and shames you for aspiring altogether. This belief creates the voice in your head that you shouldn’t have the things you desire because it’s better to live without them. And God will favor you more if you do. If you’ve seen the movie or play Fiddler on the Roof, then you know the song “If I Were a Rich Man,” where Tevia sings about what he’d do if he had wealth.
If God wanted you to accept your place and live modesty, he’d take everything from you and let you die in the basket you were born in, or to live in sickness and struggle to find food. We left the cave for a reason!
Re-Frame: God wants you to enjoy life. We advance our lives through knowledge, experience, training, and aspiration. Just as we advanced our worlds as we learned how to read, write, and do basic mathematics, our ability and right to expand our lives does not deserve to end when we leave school. This is a natural part of life and is not to be discouraged. God wants us to live abundantly and prosper, not merely to live and barely get by. God wants you to enjoy life and live it to the fullest including your growth and wealth!
10. God Wants You to Sacrifice Yourself For Others.
Why this is limiting: This is a powerful one. It’s often used as a rationalization to suppress and deny your needs, desires, and natural instinct to eliminate sources of suffering and martyr yourself for others.
God requires nothing of the kind. What he desires is that you make the most of yourself for yourself and others. As a society, we struggle with a lot of dysfunction because of this belief. Sacrifice is needed at times but more often than not, so are healthy boundaries. Often the call to sacrifice is passed down to those who can least afford to make it, the poor, the lowest ranked and so on. No thank you I’ll pass on this one.
Re-Frame: God wants you to make the most of yourself for yourself and for others. The more you develop your mind, body and spirit, the more you enjoy, the more you are grateful for, the more giving and generous you can be. By advancing yourself you can advance others, this naturally includes having things that you desire and all that you need to advance yourself.
11. All Giving Comes at a Cost.
Why this is limiting: This isn’t actively/consciously thought of or talked about, but ask yourself if you buy this one. We trick ourselves into believing that giving requires the sacrifice of monetary value. Most of us buy this BS.
Are you generous? Do you believe generosity only has to do with the distribution of material wealth?Are you kind all the time? Are you opening doors, giving genuine thank yous, using people’s name on regular basis? In traffic, do you let people merge into your lane in front of you or do you speed up? Speeding up actually costs more money in terms of gas. And as long as you keep a safe distance and don’t crash, I can’t imagine giving kindness to cost you anything. It can only bring you more opportunities for wealth, but what do most people fool themselves into believing? Scarcity and competition? Giving costs? I must take! Right? Wrong. Throw this notion away. Giving is the key to success. Giving is what abundant and faithful people do in appreciation for living now and in the future in such wealth of opportunities and means.
Re-Frame: There are many ways to give first that will bring wealth and abundance into my life that cost nothing at all. There are many small kindnesses I can perform everyday that lead to new opportunities to grow, be grateful, expand my faith, build relationships that build wealth in all forms.
12. Money is the root of all evil, and the desire to be wealthy is evil.
Why this is limiting: If you believe this, you aren’t going to attract or seek out wealth or the means to cultivate the materials, experiences and opportunities that allow you to advance your life and live abundantly.
I honestly think that this belief is perpetuated by poor people trying to rationalize their status in life. If poverty is treating you well, well then, more power to you I guess. For me, I love money. It allows me to visit amazing places, enjoy fine things, meet more wonderful people, and enjoy many amazing experiences. This feels like the opposite of evil and serves me just fine.
Do we fault a plant for wanting more sunshine? Why do we fault ourselves for desiring what makes us grow? Money allows us to grow by affording us time and materials to do so. Is badmouthing money bringing you a better life? I doubt it. Show some gratitude for every penny and see if you can reverse that relationship. Speak well of wealth, you have a right to it.
Re-Frame: Money provides means that provide materials for me to advance myself. I love advancing myself and having the means to do it. I love money and am thankful for having so much of it in my life.
13. Desire is Greed, Sensuous Experiences Are a Sin
Why this is limiting: By placing the soul as holier or separate from the needs of body and mind, this belief encourages the suffering, living in lack and scarcity, while you’re here in the moment on the planet. It is also used to reinforce the notion that humanity exists as a life-long endurance test of suffering, at the end of which is a final judgement for all eternity. It encourages people (treated as peasants, slaves and serfs) to suck it up and get walked on, and seeking out enjoyment is out of alignment with that idea.
Radical Idea/Cosmic Truth: We live to advance mind, body and spirit, none more holy than the other, we have a natural desire to advance them all, as they are connected to say the least.
At one point in time, anything that wasn’t for the spirit or soul, was bad for you, and a sin. And focusing on enjoying any experience could be labeled a sin.
And in essence, despite the governing documents society lives by, the spiritual aspects of our culture tell us that being happy is a sin. And this attitude is still around today. Getting our needs met is a sin? Enjoying a Margarita is a sin? Enjoying time with family is a sin? Really? Growing is a sin? Wealth is a sin? These ancient relics for beliefs still collect cobwebs at the foundation of our societal ideas and our psyche. This is yet another way to say suffering and struggling are the only virtuous endeavors in life. Enjoying the moment is wrong. The remnants of this idea and others are still present and largely a part of our culture. It’s time to grab a broom and clean them out.
George Carlin aptly captures the lack of integrity/consistency with religious beliefs in society. He drives at a larger point which is to say that within religion there are nested beliefs, that if we were to examine closely, just don’t make sense. And while you and I might not agree with all of it, there are certainly some elements of truth reasonable people can agree on.
Enjoyment at Work – Many people have a hard time believing that people who enjoy their jobs are actually working. If you enjoy it, it must not be work right? We define work as a tolerated segment of suffering, and that doesn’t work for me. At least in my life, these ideas don’t serve me at all. I love my work. I enjoy the challenges and demands of it.And I choose to replace these negative beliefs with beliefs that encourage and support my growth, happiness and abundance.
Re-Frame: Experiences and opportunities to enrich and advance mind, body and spirit, are enjoyable. God wants you to enjoy life and advance yourself to your fullest.
14. Be ashamed of pride and confidence.
Why this is limiting: This started off as beware excessive pride/confidence, known as hubris and dates back to the Ancient Greeks, Homer and The Odyssey. Here’s the wrinkle though; the term excessive is subjective and in the eye of the beholder (judge).
This idea basically limits you to having the pride and confidence that other people can tolerate, and has nothing to do with cosmic consequences for having too much. Overtime, the judges (people who live in a world of scarcity, fear and competition) became keeningly aware of what happens when people are proud and confident (they rise, seemingly above others).
As soon as you outsource these kind of judgements, and accept this tainted advice, it’s amazing how quickly dysfunctional, and polluted people (everyone), will then put you under their boot. We’re all scared little children from time to time, and if we believe we will find comfort in keeping things status quo, we will aspire to prevent people from rising above.
Your faith in yourself, mind, body and spirit, is woven into and a part of the divine. It isn’t to be traded away for a false sense of connection to a community, deity or otherwise. It is codependent and dysfunctional to believe so. It’s true you should be mindful and aware of the interconnectedness of things, but don’t confuse that with heeding the toxic judgements of others. Usually, it’s coming from a polluted place.
Re-Frame: Take pride in your achievements to recognize momentum of your advancement, have confidence in your ability to learn, grow, advance and cultivate abundance. Celebrate your faith in these things. Wear them as armor to help guard your thoughts and feelings from the spears and blades of other people’s judgements.
My point in presenting these to you, is to remind you to search in the basements of your belief system for these sabotaging myths that will get in the way of a healthy relationship to a grateful and happy life of wealth and abundance.